The Delaware County Electric Cooperative, the New York Power Authority and State University of New York on Thursday announced a new solar generation and battery storage project to be constructed on 18 acres owned by SUNY Delhi on Arbor Hill Road in Delhi.
The project’s partners said the system will produce approximately 2 megawatts of ballast ground-mounted storage-paired solar power, located adjacent to a DCEC substation, allowing the array to tie directly into the existing power distribution network, said the release.
Installation is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year, said Mark Schneider, CEO of DCEC. “And the project is expected to be in operation the end of this year.”
The project will help DCEC meet their clean energy commitments in a cost-effective manner while also helping SUNY Delhi enhance their academic programs, said Schneider.
“The project did not receive grant funding to pay for construction or operations costs," he noted. "The energy and renewable energy credits produced by the project will pay for the project."
DCEC has a history of working with SUNY Delhi.
“Many of DCECs employees come from the college’s utility program,” said Schneider. “Over the years, it’s been in our best interest to support the program by supplying equipment or materials for student’s training.”
Currently, a 20- kilowatt system is in operation on the main campus.
“The new project will be a hundred times bigger,” Schneider said. “The students will move from learning about small scale, homeowner size solar systems to learning and working with community or commercial scale systems.”
In a media release SUNY Delhi President Michael R. Laliberte said, "This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for SUNY Delhi and Delaware County Electric Cooperative members. Our students will gain unprecedented experience with a community-scale solar and battery storage project and be uniquely qualified to enter the sustainable energy field."
Students will participate as passive operators. “The array will be an extension of their learning laboratory. They will also have 24/7 access to data,” said Schneider.
Data is monitored to learn how to manage battery charging and discharging depending on systems operating and marketing conditions, said Schneider.
Active operations will be managed by DCEC, NYPA, and the developer of the system.
“NYPA is working directly with our customers to explore new and innovative ways to support their clean energy goals and the needs of their communities. Every day we are helping to realize Governor Cuomo’s commitment to integrate more renewable energy resources into our state’s power grid.,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO, in Thursday’s press release.